Opinion surveys are tricky things. They may reveal more about the people being surveyed than the issues being interrogated. Perhaps the reason SA does so badly in surveys is because South Africans are so tough on themselves. Hold that comforting thought as you peruse the results of yet another survey revealing the continued slide in the standards of governance and ethics within SA organisations. The latest survey comes courtesy of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). Its corporate governance index 2017, which surveyed chief audit executives (CAEs) in the public and private sectors, points to a continued decline in ethics. In 2017 only 53% of the 281 CAEs who responded strongly agreed that ethics is an important part of their organisation’s culture. This is down from 66% in the inaugural index in 2013. The IIA results are in line with the findings of the inaugural Anti-intimidation & Ethical Practices Forum (AEPF) survey released in September. That survey found only 9% of profes...

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